University of Melbourne awarded Australia’s first 6 Star Green Star Communities rating for a university

Image of solar panels in the University of Melbourne campus.

The University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus has received a 6 Star Green Star – Communities rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), recognising world leadership in sustainable masterplanning.

It is the first 6 Star – Communities rating to be awarded to an Australian University.

The campus – including more than 159 buildings and 66 hectares of land – was assessed against best practice benchmarks for liveability, prosperity, environmental sustainability, design excellence, governance and innovation.

University of Melbourne Manager of Sustainable Campus Design Gerard Healey said the rating reflects the University of Melbourne’s commitment to zero net carbon emissions from electricity by 2021 and carbon neutrality before 2030.

“It is recognition of how the University uses its campus as a living lab, a demonstrator for course-work students and a test-bed for researchers,” Dr Healey said.

“Current projects include geothermal energy for buildings on campus and using temperatures sensors around campus to inform landscape design.”

The University of Melbourne is also the first university in Australia to undertake a nitrogen footprint of its operations and to use the Green Impact sustainability engagement program.

The award acknowledges the University of Melbourne’s efforts to make sustainability meaningful for staff and students and to foster the health and well-being of staff, students and visitors. These efforts include:

  • A tobacco free campus
  • Tools and training to support better mental health
  • Extensive sport and fitness facilities
  • Infrastructure and promotion of cycling
  • Green spaces
  • Access to medical, dental, optical and mental health services
  • Safer Community Program.

GBCA Chief Executive Officer Romilly Madew said the University of Melbourne now has positive proof that it is meeting world-leadership benchmarks for environmental, economic and social sustainability.

“This is not only important as the University strives to reduce its carbon emissions, but also to attract students who increasingly consider the environmental impact of their university of choice,” Ms Madew said.

“Achieving this 6 Star Green Star – Communities rating re-confirms the University’s commitment to create places that are healthy, resilient and positive places for both people and the natural environment.”